Once More With Feeling

When parents repeatedly complained that a teacher was fondling their sons, school administrators and police officers looked the other way

"I would hazard to guess," Leach told the committee, "that since I've been talking, there have been a dozen kids across the Phoenix area who have been hugged by a teacher. Maybe a couple of their shirts [were] tucked in, a couple got pats on the head, arms around. Are those teachers pedophiles? . . . We know that parents aren't happy with the fact that under the new policies, that's almost the standard of reporting."

Like the Phoenix Police Department's Mike Torres, Leach was prescient.
"There is no private parts mentioned in the DARE letter," Leach said, trying to build an argument based on a missing document by claiming that DeWalt had been under no legal obligation to report Wade Hutchins.

DeWalt won the day. The committee voted unanimously to recommend that the State Board of Education take no action.

The board is scheduled to consider the DeWalt issue at its June 24 meeting.
"I got my butt handed to me in about 20 different ways," David Cool says. "But I truly believe that Mrs. DeWalt and Tom Krebs breached the faith that we as parents entrust in them as educators and administrators. If only they had let law enforcement do its job, a bunch of kids might not have had to go through what they went through."

Cool, however, says he's happy about one tidbit of news confirmed at the committee hearings by Steve Leach.

"I guess she's about to become the director of curriculum for the Paradise Valley school district," Cool says. "I guess that means she'll be pushing paper upstairs somewhere instead of having to deal with all these protection and reporting issues. That's fine with me."

The new position is considered a promotion, and DeWalt can expect a raise.

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